Waterford put a miserable week off the pitch behind them as they earned a deserved 2-0 victory over Cork City in the Munster Derby at the RSC.
The Blues were informed on Thursday evening that they cannot apply for a UEFA licence for the 2019/20 season but goals from Shane Duggan and Zack Elbouzedi gave their fans something to cheer as they ensured their provincial rival's winless league streak extended to five games.
Waterford manager Alan Reynolds made one change from the side which returned from Sligo with a point on Monday evening, with the league's joint top-scorer Aaron Drinan drafted in, while Conor McCormack and Darragh Crowley came in for the visitors following their late defeat to UCD.
Both sides struggled to create clear cut chances in the opening 20 minutes, with an acrobatic Bastien Hery's bicycle flying wide for the home side while McCormack sliced an effort wide from outside the home side's box at the other end.
Waterford FC 2-0 Cork City. Waterford put a miserable week off the pitch behind them as they earned a deserved 2-0 victory over Cork City in the Munster Derby at the RSC, with two cracking goals. #rtesoccer pic.twitter.com/lq0YcvEEDC— Soccer Republic (@SoccRepublic) April 19, 2019
In the 21st minute winger Elbouzedi earned a free having nicked the ball ahead of Shane Griffin on the corner of the box with Mark McNulty tipping Kevin Lynch's subsequent effort to safety before City enjoyed 10 minutes of comfortable possession around the half hour mark.
Graham Cummins blazed a shot off-target after Crowley's nod on and the visitors had the ball in the back of the net two minutes later through Garry Buckley although he was in an offside position when Cummins' flick was pushed into his path by Matthew Connor.
Reynolds' men carved out the half's best chance when Hery slid in Elbouzedi after neat interplay with Drinan, but the winger couldn't cap off a gorgeous move, wastefully curling his shot over the goal with only the City netminder to beat.
A Hery effort flew wide of the near post before the half finished and McNulty was called into action following the restart, tipping Duggan's curling left-footed effort wide of his post.
Buckley, Conor McCarthy and Gearoid Morrissey had a series of half chances, although none truly troubled the Waterford netminder, which were book-ended by headed efforts from Rory Feely, one of which was blocked on the line.
The opening goal which delighted the home fans arrived 15 minutes from time seconds after McNulty had parried away a drilled shot from Karolis Chvedukas, when Duggan's ambitious shot from 25-yards flew into the net, possibly with the aid of a slight deflection.
City pressed for an equaliser in injury time and while the home fans' hearts were almost broken as a ball flew narrowly wide off Sean McLoughlin, the points were secured thanks to Elbouzedi's deft finish having accelerated beyond the one-man City backline.
Waterford FC: Matthew Connor; Aaron Simpson (Poynton, 72), Damien Delaney (C), Rory Feely, Kevin Lynch (Chvedukas, 55); Shane Duggan, JJ Lunney; Zack Elbouzedi, Bastien Hery, Aaron Drinan; Ismahil Akinade (Walsh, 91).
Subs: Hugo Keto (GK), Maxim Kouogun, Karolis Chvedukas, Scott Twine, Dean Walsh, Cory Galvin, Georgie Poynton.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Dan Casey, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Conor McCormack (Daire O'Connor, 76), Gearoid Morrissey; James Tilley, Garry Buckley; Darragh Crowley (Daniel Smith, 67), Graham Cummins (Rainsford, 80).
Subs: Tadhg Ryan (GK), Darragh Rainsford, Daire O'Connor, Kevin O'Connor, Pierce Phillips, Daniel Smith, Cian Bargary.